Todd Deal, the leader of the Higher Education portfolio of programs at the Center for Creative Leadership, worked with ABAC student-leaders to identify, develop and utilize their five most prominent themes of talent this past Sunday in Bowen 106.

Organizations that sent student-leaders included: CA’s, The Ambassadors, The Stallion Society, ICC Leadership, SGA and The Stallion.

“Sunday afternoon as a college student is a lot of precious time… there are other things you could be doing,” Deal acknowledged before he began to ask students about how they would react in certain tense situations, such as instances of confrontation or awkward moments.

Many of the questions he asked referenced back to a test the participating students took before coming to the seminar, the CliftonStrengths test; known for its polarizing answer options and questions that have to be answered in under twenty seconds. Afterward, participants took a look at their Strength Insights Report, which listed and explained their top five attributes, and brought it with them to the workshop.

Deal warned students to accept what they’re about to learn and take his advice, as it’s “empowering to deploy your strengths for your life goals,” he said.

Following the short introduction to the seminar, Deal had students interact with one another based on their Strength Insights Report to better understand their own reasoning for their results and better understand other ways those same traits can be used.

These instances of interaction were a key attribute of Deal’s workshop, as he feels it helps better personal growth. Trent Hester, three-year participant of the workshop and Residence Life Coordinator at ABAC, said: “you can begin to see the growth taking place in these students who are beginning to understand what it means to be a leader.”

Following the self-exploration phase, Deal led a lecture in which he further explained how knowing your strengths can benefit you much better than knowing your weaknesses. “I love this line of work because it fits with who I am, and that’s based on the same test these students took,” Deal said, as he further proved his point.

This workshop has been critically beneficial to students’ development, so much in fact that universities and colleges around the nation have implemented this workshop into their freshmen curriculum.

However, the benefit from this comes in the actual effort to improve during and after the workshop. Alan Kramer, Athletic Director, and the introductory speaker said, “yes ideally we want to provide this as an asset for all students, but, realistically, it would only benefit those that would want to learn about themselves… it’s more of a want-to kind of ordeal.”

Todd Deal closed out the workshop by telling the students to take advantage of what they’ve learned today as “you’ll lose about 80 percent of this knowledge in about two weeks if you don’t act soon.”

Todd Deal has been coming to ABAC for years to help students achieve their best self and he should return next fall semester.

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